Mar 162017

Wednesday 26th April, 7pm at Llanishen Village Hall

Our Annual General Meeting and Spring Get-together is a great opportunity to meet fellow meadow enthusiasts and catch up on MMG activities.  This year our speaker is Dr George Peterken, well known ecologist, author of several books including Wye Valley (in the Collins New Naturalist series) and Meadows (volume 2 of the British Wildlife Collection).  George is also a founder member of Parish Grasslands Project, our sister organisation across the Wye.

As usual there will be a buffet supper after the talk.


Llanishen Village Hall is situated on Church Road East in the village of Lanishen, just off the B4293 between Chepstow and Monmouth, post code NP16 6QE.  There is a map on the hall’s web site


Please book in advance as we need to know how many people to cater for.  You can book online (form below) or contact  Marilyn Dunkelman, 01600 860031 or by email using our Contact Us form.

You can send payment by cheque, made payable to Monmouthshire Meadows Group, to Marilyn at The Beeches, The Narth, Monmouth NP25 4QL.  If you prefer to pay using Internet banking we’ll send details of our account when we receive your booking.

Please contact one of the committee if you need to arrange a lift.

Booking Form
  • Wednesday 26th April at Llanishen Village Hall
  • Costs include refreshments and a glass of wine or you can come to the meeting only
    Members: £14.00 each
    Non-members: £17.00 each
    Meeting only: £3.50 non-members (members free)
    For internet banking please use the reference 'Spring2017' - bank details will be sent to you
  •   Bank Transfer (details will be sent by email)
Mar 152017


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March 2017

Thursday 23rd: Parish Grasslands Project AGM, details on their web site

April 2017

Monday 3rd: Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales, Newport & Valleys Branch, have Steph Tyler talking about Wildflowers & Meadows, Why we need them, how to save them, 7pm, at Newport Civic Centre.  Contact Vic Warren to attend on 01495 755557

Saturday 22nd: The first of Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Botany Walks with Steph Tyler and Elsa Wood, 10am to 3pm.  Booking is essential, contact Steph by email  Details on the GWT web site

Wednesday 26th: MMG Annual General Meeting and Spring Get-together at Llanishen Village Hall.   The AGM starts at 7pm, followed by guest speaker Dr George Peterken, ecologist, author of Wye Valley (from the Collins New Naturalist series) and Meadows (British Wildlife Collection volume 2) and founder of the Parish Grassland Project.  Followed by a buffet supper.  Book online

May 2017

Saturday 20th: Monmouthshire Bee Festival, at Nelson Gardens in Monmouth.

June 2017

Saturday 10th: A guided walk exploring the flowers and plants of Castle Meadows, Abergavenny, with Sheelagh Kerry, 10am to 12 noon. Dogs on leads only.  Please book with Abergavenny local group, Gwent Wildlife Trust, call 0800 298 3656.   Location and more details

Sunday 18th: MMG Open Meadows Day.  A number of meadows will be open, including Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Springdale Farm.  More details to follow


There are many other events organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust, SEWBReC and other conservation organisations so do check out their listings as well:

Gwent Wildlife Trust Events Calendar (external link)

South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre (SEWBReC) Events Calendar (external link)

Local Wildlife Site Landowner Morning: 22 January

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Jan 052017

Trooping Funnels (Clitocybe geotropa) in a Local Wildlife Site (picture Jon Dunkelman)

All Monmouthshire Meadows Group members are invited to attend the morning for owners of Local Wildlife Sites at Llanishen Village Hall on Sunday 22 January 2017, 9.30am to 1pm.

There will be talks on Grassland Fungi, Amazing Molluscs of the Gwent Living Landscapes, Wye Valley Woodlands, Pine Marten Reintroduction Feasibility, and Orchard Conservation as well as time to meet other wildlife site owners, discuss issues and find out about the current survey work being undertaken on grasslands.

The event is organised by Gwent Wildlife Trust and you can book a place by contacting Andy Karran, their Wildlife Sites Officer, e-mail or 01600 740600.

Download the programme, including directions and map of Llanishen Village Hall

Members Survey 2016

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Oct 282016

grass_management_pieEarlier this year, we decided to undertake a short membership survey as a simple way of giving members the opportunity to describe problems they might have with the management of their meadows, particularly those with whom we have no regular contact beyond the initial botanical survey and advice.   Nearly 40% of the 238 members invited to complete the survey responded. We cannot be sure how representative they are of the full membership but the results have been analysed and a brief summary published in our Autumn newsletter.  For anyone interested in the full survey here it is to download as a pdf:

Membership Survey Final Report 2016

The survey was put together and analysed by former committee member Glynis Laws. If anyone has any comments or questions about the survey, please contact the committee.

Autumn 2016 Newsletter

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Oct 132016

Autumn 2016 NewsletterOur latest newsletter is available to download here.  Featuring, among other news:

  • An update from our chairman, Steph Tyler, on recent activities
  • News about our latest meadow reserve, Ida’s Meadow in Maryland, The Narth
  • A beautifully illustrated article by Ray Armstrong on moving to Pastures New
  • Low energy hay baling
  • Managing verges for wildflowers in Itton Common
  • Pictures and reports from National Meadows Day 2016

Plus our regular items: first sightings, welcoming new members, reports of our 2016 activities and news of things to come

We welcome items for inclusion in our newsletters, especially pictures of your First Sightings, and longer pieces of interest to our members.  Contributions should be sent to Marilyn Dunkelman, who can be contacted via our online form

Our Autumn Get-together: 27 October

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Oct 012016

Autumn Meadow (Jon Dunkelman)

Our Autumn meeting this year will be at the Centenary Hall in Usk, on Thursday 27th October.  We shall have our usual buffet supper and plenty of time to chat and socialise with fellow meadows enthusiasts.

This year two of our members will be talking about their meadow experiences:

David Sheers is a committee member of the Monmouthshire Branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural Wales.  He and his wife have a small oasis of species-rich pastures and meadows in a sea of intensive agriculture , at Llandewi Rhydderch near Abergavenny.

Malcolm Schuyl is a professional photographer, and a keen moth-trapper.  He and his wife came to live at Maypole near St Maughans three years ago and have a small farm with species-rich pastures, woodland and a stream. Continue reading »

Kingcoed Meadows Open Day and Species List

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Jul 072016

We held our first Open Day at Kingcoed on National Meadows Day, 2nd July when over 60 people came along to enjoy the meadows in the sunshine.  We were joined by Plantlife Cymru, who were launching their new, family-friendly meadows survey and meadow flower identification leaflet, a great help to visitors identifying some of the ninety species of plants we have on the site.

Many of our visitors asked for a full species list so here it is to download:  Updated plant list Kingcoed Meadows July 2016 (pdf)

We also distributed our leaflet about the Meadows which gives a brief history and why the site is so important to us, and incorporates a map and directions. Download the leaflet (pdf).  You can visit the meadow at any time, all we request is that visitors keep to the edges of the fields.

Following the track: flower walk through Kingcoed Meadows (Phil Pickersgill / Isabel MacDonald)

Following the track: flower walk through Kingcoed Meadows (Phil Pickersgill / Isabel MacDonald)

Hay & Manure Exchange: PONT’s New Project

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Jun 172016

PONT_logoPONT,  the Welsh organisation promoting grazing for the benefit of wildlife, has set up a Hay Exchange on their website.

The aim is to help people who need or want hay or farmyard manure to  get in touch with each other.  This will support people who are creating and managing traditional hay meadows by finding an outlet for their products.

The webpage has a registration system where people can enter the details of what they have or what they need. This includes information about the type of meadow e.g. flower-rich, organic etc. and the type of bales etc.

We encourage MMG members to join in this excellent scheme.  Register first on the PONT site and add a listing each time you have some hay or manure to offer (or you are looking for hay/manure).


Open Meadows on National Meadows Day 2nd July 2016

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May 282016

National Meadows Day pictureUPDATE: This relates to our 2016 Open Meadows Day.

This year our Open Meadows Day will be a celebration of our success in purchasing Kingcoed Meadows plus a special viewing of Joanna Kerr’s garden and meadow at Glebe House, Llanfair Kilgeddin.

We are holding our events on National Meadows Day, Saturday 2nd July, and we are collaborating with Plantlife to join in this national celebration promoted by Save our Magnificent Meadows.  Plantlife will have a stall at Kingcoed and will be launching their new flower identification leaflet on the day.

You should also have time to visit Pentwyn Farm meadows in Penallt, where Gwent Wildlife Trust will be organising family activities as part of National Meadows Day.

Scroll down for details or download our leaflet which includes directions and a map of Kingcoed Meadows (pdf)

Times and Directions

(Maps will enlarge – click on symbol in top right)

Kingcoed Meadows

The meadows will be open all day, from 10 am to 4.30 pm, with guided walks in the morning.  Admission is free.  There will be some parking on site and along the verge.  The meadows are at grid reference SO427057.  Satnav users can use post code NP15 1DS.

Glebe House Garden and Meadow

Open 2 pm to 5 pm, £4 admission with all proceeds to Monmouthshire Meadows Group to help support our project at Kingcoed.  Refreshments will be available.  The house is at Llanvair Kilgeddin, Abergavenny NP7 9BE, midway between Abergavenny and Usk on the B4598.

Joanna’s garden is part of the National Gardens Scheme and there is more information about Glebe House  the NGS web site.

Pentwyn Farm

Also as part of National Meadows Day, Gwent Wildlife Trust are holding a Family Fun Day at their Pentwyn reserve, with activities and crafts including meadow flower hunting and trails around the reserve. There will be refreshments available.  Open 1 pm to 4 pm.   For more information and directions see this event page on Gwent Wildlife Trust’s site

SavOurMagnficentMeadows_logoNational Meadows Day is a project of Save our Magnificent Meadows, a partnership of 11 organisations led by Plantlife and primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Committee Changes at MMG

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May 022016

Maggie and Ann at our book launch party in 2014 (Keith Moseley)

Retiring and New Committee Members

At April’s AGM we said thank you to five retiring committee members who have all contributed a huge amount to MMG’s work over the last few years.

Glynis Law actually left the committee a few months ago, but continues to be an active member of the group.  Martin Fenn-Smith and Martin Suter retired from their roles as Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively, and two of our longest serving members, Ann Robinson and Maggie Biss also stood down after years of active support and commitment.

Maggie was with Diana Bevan, a founder member of MMG and has been our secretary since the Group was formed. She has been a key person especially during the early years when she lived at Pilstone House and has loyally supported our Open Days and other events and for many years produced MMG’s newsletter.

Ann Robinson has also been a loyal supporter of the Group. She helped with the production of MMG’s anniversary book and hosted the launch of this book at her lovely meadows near Shirenewton.

In their place we have gained some new members. Cecilia Davies, who has served on the committee for a year now, is our new membership secretary; she stood in for three months as Treasurer, preparing the accounts for the AGM.  Rachel Morgan is a new recruit and she takes over as treasurer.  Judith Carruthers has also officially joined the team after being a frequent volunteer helper at our events.

Can You Contribute to MMG’s Work?

We are still looking for one or two more volunteers to join the committee to get back to our full numbers. You don’t have to be an expert in any particular field as we need people with many different skills, whether it’s practical help at work parties, administrative help, contributing to event organising, or becoming an ambassador for the group. We would particularly like to do more with young people.  If you would like to know more please talk to one of our committee members.